The semifinal contest between Australia and South Africa in the 1999 World Cup will be remembered for ages. Lance Klusener was one run away from taking his side to the final of the mega event. However, the talisman all-rounder could not do it as Allan Donald was run-out. Klusener didn’t turn his back and kept on running towards the dressing room.
The Proteas lost as Australia had a better net run rate in the group stages. It was devastating to be in the shoes of Lance Klusener as South Africa lost by the skin of their teeth. They were close but yet so far from the target and could not get going.
Klusener was the Man of the Tournament in 1999 World Cup.
The southpaw batsman shared his regret when he could not take his team over the line. Klusener, who was awarded the Man of the tournament in 1999 World Cup said he could have waited for the next balls to score the winning runs.
Lance Klusener said while talking to ESPN Cricket Monthly, “Getting one off the last ball, that’s not hard. I can do that. All the hard work was done. And then you just didn’t do what you needed to do. Yes, we could have waited and hit the next ball for four,” recalled Klusener of facing Damien Fleming for the final over. “Yes, we could have waited and got bowled out and people would have asked: “Why didn’t you run the ball before?” That’s the tough way of looking at it. I am upset with myself that I had done all the hard work and then I didn’t do the easy part. That’s regret.”
South Africa required nine runs off the last over when Lance Klusener smashed two boundaries against Damien Fleming. There was almost a run-out on the third ball. On the fourth ball, the left-handed batsman went for the risky single whereas Allan Donald was ball watching and didn’t respond to the call.
“It’s not just that game but a lot of other games where we need two off the last ball and I miss a fricking ball that I have practised a thousand times. I think that’s the regret I have. To look at it in hindsight, that’s something that makes you frustrated,” said Klusener. “But who’s to say you wouldn’t get a good ball and hit it to cover or get bowled? “Oh, the ball before, you could have snuck one. And I would be living with the same story. I know what happened.”
Lance Klusener scored 281 runs in the 1999 World Cup at a staggering average of 140.50. He also picked 17 wickets and he was the fourth-highest wicket-taker in the tourney.